Malbank 1 team celebrate with Mark Cueto

Former England rugby star Mark Cueto was on hand to unveil Reaseheath College’s state-of-the-art sporting facilities.

Cueto looked on as the college hosted a rugby tournament for local secondary schools to mark the official opening.

Pupils from Malbank School in Nantwich were joined by Sandbach High School and Ruskin Community High School for a touch rugby challenge.

It took part on the Nantwich college’s new all weather 3G pitch and multi-use games area for community use.

The floodlit sports facility opened in September for business use and is already used regularly by Crewe and Nantwich Rugby Club, Crewe Alexandra Ladies FC and Crewe Arrows FC.

GB’s amputee football squad has also trained on the pitch, which has a synthetic surface installed to professional specification, electronic timing gates and a fitness testing unit.

There are plans to hold a sports festival at the venue in 2017.

There is also a strength and conditioning gym with sports science laboratory and a new, outdoor, multi-use games area which can be hired out.

The construction of a sports centre for community use will begin in early 2017.

The schools tournament, which attracted seven mixed teams of pupils Years 7 and 8, was won by Malbank 1st team players Nathan Lawley, Sam Taylor, Charlie Mellor, Toby Evans, George Threadgold, Sean Sides and top scorers Martin Lloyd and James Seiler.

Mark Cueto, Andy Brown, Jo Maher, Dave Kynaston, Gwyn Evans, Tony Farmer

All pupils also enjoyed a Q&A with Cueto – a former winger for Sale Sharks and England.

Malbank PE teacher Kyle Shore said: “It was a fantastic day of rugby for the pupils, who really appreciated the opportunity of meeting such a high profile player as Mark Cueto.

“Reaseheath’s facility is excellent and we look forward to using it more in the future.”

Niall McGregor, School Games Organiser for Crewe and Nantwich Schools Sports Partnership, who helped to run the event, said: “The teams really enjoyed the opportunity to play on such a superb, professional surface.

“For many pupils, this was their first ever experience of playing touch rugby and everyone performed really well.”

Cueto, originally from Crewe, retired in 2015 after a 15-year career which saw him win 55 caps for England, play in two World Cups, and represent the British and Irish Lions

He was awarded an MBE for services to rugby in 2016 and is now Commercial Director for Sale Sharks.

The former St Thomas More Catholic School student, said: “Reaseheath College has built a fantastic facility here which will benefit professional clubs and enhance the health and wellbeing of the local community.

“The tournament was extremely well run and it was great to see so many pupils being introduced to rugby.”

For more information on the college’s sport facilities, visit www.reaseheath.ac.uk/3gpitch/

All players with supporters and Mark Cueto

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